Manny Ramirez Jr. grew up around the game of baseball. He has an appreciation for the sport from being around his father and other stars inside Major League Baseball stadiums and clubhouses.
"It was great to have that chance and see how they handle themselves and the work it takes to reach that level," said Ramirez, the son of former star Manny Ramirez. "I learned a lot from my dad, and it was fun to be around teams like the Red Sox and Dodgers."
His father was a 12-time All-Star, two-time World Series champion and World Series Most Valuable Player in 2004 with the Red Sox.
Ramirez's passion for baseball continues to grow, and he is focused on starting a career of his own. The Plantation resident just finished his junior year at IMG Academy in Bradenton and is among the rising high school baseball players in Florida.
Ramirez was recognized for his play on the diamond after receiving an invitation to the 2012 Perfect Game National Showcase, June 14-18 in Minneapolis. He played three games in the prestigious event.
"It was a great experience and an opportunity to play with so many talented players," Ramirez said. "I learned a lot, and it shows you some of your weaknesses and what you need to do to improve. It pushes me to continue to work really hard."
Ramirez, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound right-handed hitter, was recognized with an honorable mention as a Perfect Game Underclassmen All-American in 2012. Ramirez has primarily played first base and also has played in the outfield.
His goal is to become more of a complete player heading into his senior season.
"I want to improve my baserunning and speed," Ramirez said. "I need to work on my defense at both first base and the outfield. I also need to have more consistency and have a solid approach at the plate."
After attending American Heritage School in Plantation, Ramirez transferred following his freshman year to IMG Academy to further pursue his development on the field in baseball as well as in the classroom. He raised his GPA from 2.9 to 3.4 and has excelled in his studies.
At IMG, he has classes from 7:30 a.m. to noon. He usually practices baseball from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and has workouts from 5 to 6 p.m.
"I want to prepare for my future and it's been a great experience," Ramirez said.
The opportunity to play in the Perfect Game National Showcase is quite an honor for players selected to the event. Ten of the first 13 selections in the 2012 MLB Draft attended the National Showcase in 2011.